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A busy month – a new book, a new car, a new phone

I don’t know why Septembers are always busy. This one feels like it’s been interesting, and I’m not sure life will be the same again.

But first, some of the biggest news – the book that I wrote a couple of chapters for is now available for purchase!

nielsen_cover150[1] A challenge was put out a while back for SQL MVPs to write a book for charity. Paul Nielsen spearheaded it, and I’m pleased to say that there was a massive response. I wrote two chapters, and this week we have had the notice that the book can now be purchased from Manning Press. If you go to http://www.SQLServerMVPDeepDives.com you will be able to buy the Early Access Edition, which will get you updated electronic copies as the chapters become available (final layouts, images, etc still appearing). All the royalties for this book go to charity rather than the authors, so buy up! I promise to sign any copy put in front of me, but if you go to the PASS conference in November, you can probably get at least 40 or so of the other authors to sign it instead.

I’m planning to get a signed copy brought back from the US, and will auction it off to members of the Adelaide SQL Server User Group, giving the money to charity too.

It feels good to have the book finished!

September has also busy for a number of reasons. The company is growing nicely, celebrating a year this week, and keeping my time somewhat occupied. We achieved Gold Partner status with Microsoft at the end of August, and are ticking along well. On a more negative note, the winter has taken its toll with flu in the family, which is lousy – but we also bought a new car (finally got the people mover we’ve been promising ourselves). I replaced my old phone with an iPhone (part of me thinks that I’ll go back to Windows Mobile next time), and bought my wife one too (plus a DS for her birthday). I feel like we’re more gadgety than ever!

Not to mention TechEd Australia, which was a fun time. Grant Paisley surfing at Dreamworld was a sight to behold, and I hope there are photos somewhere! I gave a talk on SQL Azure, which gave me a number of headaches leading up to the conference, finding new things I wanted to mention on a daily basis! I also gave a talk on the danger of scalar functions in SQL Server, which I will be repeating in just over a week at Wagga, a couple of days after presenting at the Albury/Wodonga .Net User Group. An email arrived about half an hour after my scalar functions talk, saying that someone in the audience had just applied the principles I showed and made some vital queries run thirty times faster! Terrific news I think.

Bringing another laptop (an HP Mini) home from TechEd has also added to the number of gadgets in the house…

Tomorrow I hope to be able to write that I have been awarded MVP status for another year, which will be a tremendous honour. I keep wondering how much longer I’ll be able to remain in the company of such a fantastically skilled and helpful crowd. Every time I receive the award I’m both humbled and proud, and feel amazingly blessed.

Congratulations, Mitch

A good friend of mine from Perth got awarded MVP status this past week. Mitch Wheat runs the .Net User Group over there, and does a terrific job. He does a lot for the community, and is incredibly smart. I’m really pleased for him.

PS: There are a bunch of other new MVPs this October as well (plus I got rewarded) – I’m just mentioning Mitch because he’s a good friend and I’m so pleased for him!

Excitement building at Summit

I’m at the MVP Summit this week – an event at which Microsoft communicates (talking and listening) with MVPs. I’m having a great time. I’m seeing people I haven’t seen in ages – Aussies I rarely see (like Nick Randolph), former Aussies (like Chuck Sterling), people I talk to regularly on IM (like Simon Sabin), and people I see almost never (like Dejan Sarka). I’m also meeting a lot of people I’ve never met before, like Allen White, Tony Rogerson and Desmond Tutu and the Dalai Lama.

Oh, alright, I didn’t really meet the Dalai Lama (he walked past, but we didn’t talk), but I did meet Archbishop Desmond Tutu. He was in the hotel lift this morning as I was on my way down to breakfast. He said he’s an Arsenal fan and was very sad that we lost to Liverpool recently. I got a photo on my phone, and the quality isn’t great – but I guess it’s a nice memento.

From a technology perspective, the excitement is building around various new products. Summit is always good that way, but I can’t write more for NDA reasons.